Stop The Spread Of Illness At Work [Video]

Illness and infection can be a real headache for employers because germs can spread between staff in close quarters through a simple sneeze, the touch of a hand, or even by using the same equipment.

When contagious illnesses like flu or norovirus strike your business, they can lead to staff absence due to sickness, which reduces the overall productivity of your workforce. With a missing employee or employees, other staff members may have to pick up the slack, so they become overworked and are more susceptible to illness. Alternatively, the company may have to take on temporary staff to cover sickness absence, which could be an unexpected business expense.

So what’s the answer? Encouraging sick employees to return to work too soon can mean they are still contagious so illnesses spread all the more easily, but your business needs the man-power.

That’s why preventative action to reduce the spread of illness is important. Communicate the necessity of simple tasks like handwashing and sanitising through internal communications channels like posters and emails. You could even send employees a link to the video above.

For information about processes and procedures regarding sickness absence, get advice from your occupational health specialist. At OHBM we are more than happy to help you find ways to ensure your business suffers as little as possible from the effects of sickness absence. Just give us a call on 01625 268 609 today.

Keep Your Workforce Well This Winter With Sickness Absence Management

It’s prime cold and flu season, but keeping your workforce well this winter will help your business be more productive and more profitable.

Sickness absence as a year-round issue for businesses. It costs the UK economy £29 billion per annum. But in winter, with colds, coughs, flu and Christmas party hangovers to contend with, sickness absence can seem more virulent than ever before.

OHBM offers sickness absence management services to help you minimise the impact of staff who don’t turn in. We’ll look at everything from helping you encourage healthy habits among your employees, to return-to-work interviews and even helping staff recover more quickly. It all adds up to improvements for your business’ bottom line.

For further details and a free consultation, speak to the OHBM team. We’re committed to helping the North West’s businesses improve profitability, morale and success, even through the bleakest midwinter.

3 Ways For Employers To Help Staff Deal With Stress

Workplace stress is a common problem and one which has the potential to increase the number of sickness-related absences in your workplace. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other demands placed on them. In some work situations pressure can cause motivation, but excessive pressure has the potential to cause work-related stress.

According to the NHS website, psychological problems, including stress, anxiety and depression, are behind one in five GP visits.

Stress symptoms include:

  • palpitations
  • dry mouth
  • headaches
  • strange aches and pains
  • loss of appetite for food

Employees dealing with stress may be tempted towards unhealthy behaviour such as drinking, smoking or drug use and comfort eating. This has the potential to cause further health problems.

If you’re an employer, tackling stress in the workforce can decrease the number of staff sick days, boost productivity and increase morale. The HSE believes good management practices can help reduce work-related stress and provides management standards approach to help you take practical steps to minimise stress in the workplace. At OHBM we can help you implement these methods within your business.

As an employer, some of the things you can do to reduce employee stress levels include:

Promote activity

Does your workplace have a cycle to work scheme or 5-a-side football team your employees could get involved in? Do you offer reduced rates membership for local gyms? Exercise can help employees feel stronger physically and mentally, and enable them to deal with problems more calmly.

Avoid encouraging unhealthy habits

Does your workplace have a regular Friday night out in the local pub? While socialising is a great way to build relationships, you could encourage non-alcohol related activities instead. Bowling, a visit to a climbing wall, the cinema or the theatre are all enjoyable options that don’t revolve around alcohol.

Consider work-life balance

In the UK we work the longest hours in Europe. Lots of stressed employees could mean you’re expecting to much from them. Could you offer more flexible working hours, or at-home working arrangements to your team?

Talk to the team at OHBM to help you determine the best course of action to reduce stress in your workplace and boost the overall well-being of your team.

Sickness Absence Reaches Record Lows

Research shows that sickness absence is at a record low for manufacturing employers, according to industry body EEF.

The survey took into account data from 330 firms over the last two years, which showed absence levels reaching just 2.1% overall – the equivalent of 4.9 days per employee every year.

However, while short-term sickness absences have dropped, days off for long-term illnesses have risen, and employers have also reported a rise in employees suffering from mental health problems. Two in five of the companies surveyed by the EEF said long term absence has increased during the last 24 months.

Mental ill health, musculoskeletal disorders and illnesses leading to surgery were the greatest cause of long-term absence from work in the last two years.

“Driving down absence rates, helping more employees return to work earlier and encouraging their well-being is critical for our economy. But, despite employers increasing investment in managing sickness absence and, providing their employees with more health related benefits, the improvement in overall absence rates has more or less now plateaued,” said professor Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser at EEF.

The effects of employee absence

When workers take days off sick it affects a business’ profitability, morale and success so it is imperative organisations look for ways to improve the overall health of employees and manage absences pro-actively and effectively.

Staff absences put a strain on other members of the team and cause output to decrease. They also have the potential to cause a dip in morale. This is why businesses need to consider plans to ensure business can continue when employees are absent, as well as ways to improve team members’ overall well-being to reduce unnecessary sickness absence and speed the return to work.

According to the survey, just 46 percent of employers in the manufacturing sector pay for medical interventions. The numbers of employers offering occupational health services are more positive however; 68 percent of those surveyed offered this service as a benefit for all staff.

If you are seeking a way to reduce sickness absence in the workplace, OHBM can help you put the necessary procedures in place. Speak to our helpful and friendly team about your business today.